Chicago State University (CSU), says President Bola Tinubu attended the university and graduated in 1979.
The university however said that a Federal law, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Actas (FERPA), protects the privacy of student records and limits what an institution can release.
According to the CSU, the FERPA prevents it from providing information about President Tinubu’s academic record without consent or an order of a court.
The CSU claim is coming is coming amid legal suit filed by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, seeking details of President Tinubu’s academic record.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY reports that Atiku, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, had approached the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, seeking details of Tinubu’s academic records at the CSU.
The former Vice President had subpoenaed the CSU to make Tinubu’s academic records available to his access, believing that such discoveries will shed more light on the controversies surrounding the President’s academic records.
During Court proceedings on Tuesday in Chicago, CSU lawyer, Michael Hayes, told Judge Jeffrey Gilbert, that the school was not in a position to authenticate Tinubu’s certificate as either fake or genuine
“Is the diploma authentic or is it a forgery? My client can’t answer yes to either of those questions”, the lawyer said.
But the CSU in a statement published by CBS News (CBS Broadcasting Inc.), on Thursday, confirmed President graduated at the school.
The University however said it cannot authenticate the diploma certificate President Tinubu submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) because it was a ceremonial document and not part of a student’s official academic file.
The statement reads in part; “As an educational institution, we are sometimes asked to provide information related to student records. Federal law known as FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) protects the privacy of student records and limits what an institution can release.
“In August 2023, a request was made to the U.S. federal court for the university to provide information related to educational records concerning Bola Tinubu, the President of Nigeria, and a former CSU student.
“The university has confirmed Tinubu attended CSU and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree. Federal law, however, prevents us from providing any further information without consent or unless allowed to do so via court order.
“CSU is confident in the veracity and integrity of our records regarding Tinubu’s completion of graduation requirements and degree certificate.
“The university is not a party to the Nigerian legal proceedings that spurred this request, and a U.S. federal judge will determine whether the university will provide further requested information.
“Our response to the request for Tinubu’s academic records has been entirely consistent with our practices, policies and federal law. We would respond in exactly the same manner for any request for any student information by a third party.”